Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article in their style & fashion section that has me thinking (uh-oh!) The article asked design gurus, “If you lost your entire wardrobe, how would you rebuild it?”
For me, this is such an interesting topic to ponder. It’s the ultimate rebuild-your-wardrobe-fantasy question. Think about saying, ‘buh-bye’ to all of your mistakes; the unworn, the too small, too boring, too comfortable, too expensive-to-get-rid-of, too wrong-fitting, or too whatever would be GONE! As in, only a naked, lonely closet remains.
I reached out to a few of the folks in my network to ask them how they would handle this situation, and here are a couple of the responses I received:
Lorie Marrero, an organizing expert, media spokesperson, author, beekeeper, and mom to two human sons and 30,000 bee daughters. She resides in Austin, Texas, but her Clutter Diet® team helps thousands of people in 18 countries to “get their houses in shape” online.
There is a book I read called, “The One Hundred” by Nina Garcia, which is the 100 classic items that every woman should have in her wardrobe. I would start with this book and purchase my way through it, and simultaneously I would also think about what I missed most and replace those pieces very deliberately and intentionally. I would also keep shopping at Goodwill because that has brought me so many of my favorite items anyway! Also I highly recommend working with an image consultant. I have learned so much about shopping smarter and what works for me in terms of colors and cuts and styles, so I make fewer mistakes, confidently buy higher quality, classic pieces, and save money in the long run.
Alex F. Fayle, a Past President of Professional Organizers in Canada and former Someday-hating coach, currently residing in northern Spain where he pursues his own Someday-dream of becoming an author of young adult, fantasy and mystery books.
The big question, of course, would be how much money would I have to rebuild it. If I didn’t have a budget, then I’d go to three of my favorite stores and buy a basic wardrobe of good quality stuff that would mix and match well.
I wouldn’t change my current style of relaxed semi-casual to casual, but I would upgrade it a bit, making it more stylish and classic. Now that I’m heading into middle-age, printed t-shirts aren’t really my thing anymore, but I’m not yet into the Dad-wear yet.
And despite no budget constraints, I’d be a minimalist. I’d buy probably 4 or 5 pairs of trousers/jeans, 3 or 4 pairs of shoes, a dozen t-shirts, 4 or 5 sweaters/cardigans, a half dozen shirts of various levels of formality, one suit, a blazer of some sort, 2 jackets, a coat, and a whole bunch of foulards/scarves. Within that, I’d have some clothes that I’d wear maybe once a month or less and some things that I’d wear on nearly a daily basis.
Then every few months I’d buy something new and once a year I’d review what I had to get rid of things that no longer fit, gone out of style or lost shape/color.
In actual fact, I’ve recently decided to replace my current wardrobe over the next couple of years doing just that, buying good quality pieces that aren’t too fashion-sensitive that will last me a few years and can mix and match with other things. I’m tired of buying cheaper clothing that doesn’t last or goes out of style quickly.
You don’t need a disaster to wipe out your wardrobe, just a change in attitude, and a willingness to get rid of what no longer suits.
Did you notice what Lorie and Alex have in common?
Both recognize that higher quality clothing costs more up front, but because it will last longer, you end up spending less in the long run.